“i was born today, February 21st, 2011” – a slogan that could be the beginning of a new era for BMW. The sub-brand “i” will market under its umbrella all the future electric vehicles from BMW, and the first to open the line will be the Megacity urban car.
According to BMW, “i” stands for innovation – a difficult sell, considering that I is also the first-person, singular personal pronoun (subject case) in Modern English. But unlike the BMW brand, the pronoun is capitalized – perhaps the most important distinction in this case.
The i family will market BMW’s “sustainable vehicles and mobility solutions” when they arrive in 2013. In a first move, two models will be launched under the new sub-brand from 2013 – the BMW i3 and BMW i8, otherwise known as the MegaCity and VED production cars. According to the official BMW press release, The BMW i3– previously known as the Megacity Vehicle – will be the BMW Group’s first series-produced car for urban areas to be driven by electric power alone. The BMW i8, meanwhile, is based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Its plug-in hybrid drive blends the sporting ability of a high-performance machine with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car. Both models are based on a revolutionary construction concept known as LifeDrive architecture. An aluminium chassis houses the powertrain, and the passenger cell consists of high-strength but extremely lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
“BMW i represents a new movement in premium mobility. With the introduction of this new sub-brand, the BMW Group reaffirms its leadership as the most innovative and sustainable premium car company. The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility. It’s a new day in our industry; a new era for individual mobility. This is BMW i – Born Electric.” — said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, in Munich on Monday.